I had big, juicy blackheads when I was younger. In my earlier years, I tried it all that I read as remedies in magazines. Lemon juice, blackhead strips, ten-o-six (similar to proactive in my days, just much cheaper), squeezing, clay masks, you name it. Finally what cleared it ... Was my beauty therapist.
She advised me that to manage open pores and blackheads was not to try and wash off (strip) all the grease off, rather, trick the skin into thinking it was already moist, so it did not have to pump so much oil. Fight fire with fire she said.
I had regular weekly facials as recommended, and she put me on a skin care routine tailored to balance excessive oil production without stripping my skin. A lovely cleanser and moisturizer that helped clear my skin. She gave me a cream to rub in the blackheads to 'soften and dissolve' them every day. I used an exfoliant to clear the pores of excessive debris and a mask to draw out the blackheads 2-3 times a week.
She was a brilliant therapist. My skin recovered without acne or acne scars, which often are the result of blackheads.